Nineteen-year-old Swaha had been keenly observing the relief and rescue operations in different parts of Kerala over the last five days. She knew she had to help those who had lost their homes and belongings in the floods but was not quite sure how to contribute.
“I was watching on television how thousands were displaced and were living with only the bare essentials in these relief camps. Everyone was helping them in some way. My school, too, had donated 5,000 notebooks to those students who had lost everything in the floods. But, I was determined to do something more,” the class 11 student of Senay Smaraka Government Higher Secondary School in Kandankali, Kannur, told TNM.
When she was discussing this with her brother, Brahma (class 9), an idea popped up.
Swaha and Brahma decided to donate one-acre plot, gifted to them by their father Sankaran, to the Chief Minister’s flood relief fund.
“We did not have enough money to donate, so we thought this was ideal,” she added.
The land, worth Rs 40 lakhs per acre now, is part of a nine-acre property in Kankol near Payannur. It was bought by the siblings’ father in 1996.
A farmer by profession, Sankaran invested his savings on the barren piece of land, which was worth Rs 1 lakh per acre then. He wanted to use the land for his children’s future. He also hoped that his children would, one day, use the land to build a school.
“I split the property equally into three parts - three acres each for my daughter, son and wife. Now, Swaha is donating one acre from her share to the CM’s fund,” a proud Sankaran told TNM.
In a letter informing the principal of their school on the decision, Swaha wrote, “Seeing the plight of the state today, my brother and I, both students of this school, have decided to make a small donation to the Chief Minister’s relief fund. Out of the land that my father, a farmer, had set aside for our future, we have decided to donate 1 acre (100 cents) to the fund as a donation. We received permission from our father to do the same. How do we proceed?”
The duo said they have left it to the state government to decide how the land will be utilised.
“I just want victims to rebuild their houses and live comfortably. And if this land can help them in any way, I would be more than happy,” she said.